What Is Ken Burns Effect & 7 Best Ken Burns Effect Software (2022)

Adding Ken Burns effects can make your photos or videos vivid. What is Ken Burn effect? What video editor can create Ken Burns effects for photos and videos? This post will tell you what Ken Burns effect is and offer you the 7 Best Ken Burns effect software (including MiniTool MovieMaker).

What Is Ken Burns Effect?

Many people may not be familiar with Ken Burns effect. According to Wikipedia, the Ken Burns effect is a type of panning and zooming effect used in film and video production from still imagery. Simply put, the Ken Burns effect is an effect that gives motion to still images and brings these images to life. This kind of effect is widely used in documentary films.

Tip: The name “Ken Burns” derives from extensive use of the technique by American documentarian Ken Burns. The Ken Burns effect was not invented by him, which was previously known as “animatics”.

7 Best Ken Burns Effect Software

How to get Ken Burns effect? In this post, I’ve made a list of 7 video editors that contains Ken Burns effect.

Here’s a List of 7 Best Ken Burns Effect Software

  1. Microsoft Photos
  2. MiniTool MovieMaker
  3. VSDC Free Video Editor
  4. VideoPad Video Editor
  5. iMovie
  6. Final Cut Pro X
  7. Adobe Premiere Pro

Microsoft Photos

Microsoft Photos is a replacement for Windows Movie Maker (a discontinued video editing software included with Windows). It offers 11 motion effects (also known as Ken Burns effects) like Zoom in center, Zoom in left, Pan left, Tilt up, Tilt down, and so on. It supports importing photos, GIFs and videos, so you can create Ken Burns effects for video clips, images and animated GIFs. But the output format only supports MP4.

As a free and video editor, Microsoft Photos comes with the most editing features. You can use this video editor to trim videos, split videos, rotate videos, flip videos, add text to videos, apply filters to videos, change video speed, add background music to videos, etc. The built-in 3D effect library hosts lots of 3D projects and 3D effects and allows you to use and edit for free.

Besides editing videos, Microsoft Photos also can function as a photo viewer and photo editor.

Related article: 10 Best Microsoft Video Editors to Edit Videos on Windows

MiniTool MovieMaker

What Is Ken Burns Effect & 7 Best Ken Burns Effect Software (1)

MiniTool MovieMaker is a standard video editor without over 30 pan and zoom effects. The imported file format can JPG, JPEG, GIF, MP4, MKV, WMV, AVI and other formats. With it, you can add and remove Ken Burns effect from your media file easily, and make Ken Burns effect run faster by speeding up the clip. Since it supports image formats, you can make a photo slideshow with Ken Burns effect, or add zoom effect to a photo and export it as GIF or MP4 format.

Free Download

There are many other features available in MiniTool MovieMaker:

  1. It supports the most popular input and output formats.
  2. It can edit videos by trimming, splitting, merging, reversing, etc.
  3. It offers various filters, transitions, titles, text templates, and video templates.
  4. It can make photo slideshows with music.
  5. It lets you create a GIF from a video and convert GIF to video.

VSDC Free Video Editor

What Is Ken Burns Effect & 7 Best Ken Burns Effect Software (2)

To apply pan and zoom effects to videos or images, you can use another Ken Burns effect software – VSDC Free Video Editor. It allows you to use pan and zoom effects, zoom blur transition and zoom fade transition.

It’s a versatile video editor for professionals and it has a complicated interface which makes it difficult for you to understand how to use it. If you don’t know where to make Ken Burns effect, you can check the related tutorial on its official website, or the video guide on YouTube.

Here are some useful functions: remove green background, edit 360-degree videos, do color correction, apply split screen effect and picture to picture effect, record screen, record voice, convert 3D video to 2D, and more. VSDC Free Video Converter is free to use, available for Windows.

VideoPad Video Editor

VideoPad Video Editor is a free video editing software (with optional paid options) developed by NCH Software. It’s packed with numerous video editing features and it’s easy to use. It can process various types of media files including video, audio and picture. Place the imported media files onto the timeline, you can edit your videos like a professional. You are able to add zoom effects, transitions, text and adjust brightness for your video clips.

Different from other video editors, VideoPad Video Editor has a set of digital audio tools. It’s capable of adding audio effects, making custom soundtracks, record narrations, etc.

This is a cross-platform video editing tool that can work on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.

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iMovie has all the features of an excellent video editor such as Ken Burns effect, green screen effect, crop, and others. You can add the Ken Burns effect to video clips or photos to zoom in or zoom out these clips or photos.

Apart from that, iMovie can edit and export 4K videos without quality loss. To enhance your videos, it offers a variety of special effects, stunning filters, free soundtracks to choose from. It also provides you with some video templates. With these templates, you can create your story in minutes!

(Video) The Ken Burns Effect (Add Movement To Your STILL IMAGES)

iMovie is only available for iOS, iPadOS and macOS devices.

Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X is a professional video editing software developed by Apple Inc. with Ken Burns effect, Advanced color grading, High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, Multicam editing and magnetic timeline. With the help of Metal-based processing engine, it lets you handle complex editing tasks quickly. It’s one of the most used video editing software by YouTubers.

Final Cut Pro X is compatible with macOS 10.15 or later. It’s not freeware. The one-time price of Final Cut Pro X is $299.99. If you are a novice at editing videos, I suggest you use iMovie.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Developed by Adobe Inc., Adobe Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editor used in films such as Superman Returns and Dust o Glory. It supports editing and exporting footage in any format from 8K to VR and supports third-party extensions. Adobe Premiere Pro integrates with other Adobe products like Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, After Effects, etc. After you edit your video, you are able to open the video project in Audition and After Effects for further editing.

If you don’t know where to start, you can go to YouTube where you can find many Adobe Premiere Pro video tutorials. The software costs 31.49 per month.

Operating Systems




Microsoft Photos (with Video Editor)

Windows 10


1. Simple and easy to use

2. No watermark

No advanced editing features

MiniTool MovieMaker

Windows 7 or later


1. Clean and ease-of-use interface

2. Excellent video editor for beginners

No green screen, split screen features

VSDC Free Video Editor



(Video) iMovie 10 Creativity: Ken Burns effect the definitive guide

1. Feature-rich

2. Built-in screen recorder and voice recorder

Complicated interface

VideoPad Video Editor

Windows, macOS, Android, iOS


1. Cross-platform

2. More advanced editing functions

The free version only supports AVI and WMV output formats


macOS, iOS, iPadOS


1. Attractive and intuitive user interface


No 360-degree video editing

Final Cut Pro X



All needed editing features

Not support Windows

Adobe Premiere Pro

Windows (64-bit), macOS


$251.88/year (paid monthly)

(Video) Next Level Ken Burns Effects in FCP


1. Integrate with other Adobe products

2. Broad extensions support


How to Add Ken Burns Effects to Clips

Now, let’s take a look at how to add Ken Burns effects to clips on Windows and macOS.

Add Ken Burns Effects to Clips on Windows

MiniTool MovieMaker

Here’s how to pan and zoom photos in MiniTool MovieMaker.

Step 1. Download, install and launch MiniTool MovieMaker.

Free Download

Step 2. Shut down the popup window to access the user interface.

Step 3. Import photos you want to add Ken Burns effect. Then choose the first photo and press the Shift key to select all the photos and drag them to the timeline.

Step 4. Click on Motion to access the Motion effects library and find the effect you want to add. Choose the photo in the timeline and click the + to apply the effect to the photo.

What Is Ken Burns Effect & 7 Best Ken Burns Effect Software (4)

Step 5. To change the duration of a photo, you can choose the desired photo and move the start/ end point to the right/ left.

Step 6. Tap on Export. On the Export window, select the output format, edit the file name, choose a save folder, and change the video resolution as required.

Step 7. Finally, click the Export button to export the video.

Also read: How to Make an Instagram Slideshow with Music

Microsoft Photos

Here’s how to add Ken Burns effect to photos with Microsoft Photos.

Step 1. Tap on the search icon on the taskbar and enter “video editor”. Then open the Video Editor app.

Step 2. Click the New video project button, name your video and click OK.

Step 3. Click the Add > From this PC to import the needed photos and add them to the timeline.

Step 4. Go to the Storyboard and choose Motion in the toolbar.

Step 5. All the motion effects are listed in the right pane, select the one you like, and click Done.

(Video) 7 Tips For Better Camera Movements Like Pan & Zoom / Ken Burns In Premiere Pro

What Is Ken Burns Effect & 7 Best Ken Burns Effect Software (5)

Step 6. Click on Finish video in the top-right corner and select the desired video quality. Tap on Export!

Add Ken Burns Effects to Clips on macOS


Here’s how to add Ken Burns effect to photos with iMovie.

Step 1. Open the iMovie app and head to Project > Create new > Movie.

Step 2. Import the photos and drag and drop them to the timeline.

Step 3. Select a photo in the timeline and click the crop icon above the preview window.

Step 4. Click on Ken Burns. Then select the Start frame and the End frame.

Step 5. Apply the changes and export the video.

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This post provides you with the 7 best Ken Burns effect software. Some of them are simple to use, while others are perfect for professionals! If you have other suggestions when using MiniTool MovieMaker, please tell us via [emailprotected] or leave a reply!

Ken Burns Effect FAQ

How to add video effects in iMovie?

  1. Import the target video to iMovie and add it to the timeline.
  2. Click the Clip Filters and Audio Effects icon above the video.
  3. Choose a video effect that you want to apply to this clip.

How to remove Ken Burns effect in iMovie?

  1. Open iMovie and add the image.
  2. Select the image and click the Cropping icon above the preview window.
  3. Then choose the Crop to Fill option.

How to save iMovie as MP4?

  1. Open iMovie.
  2. Import video to iMovie.
  3. Click the Share icon in the top right corner and tap on File.
  4. Adjust the export settings.
  5. Save the video file.

Is GarageBand free?

GarageBand is a free music creation application or digital audio workstation (DAW) for macOS, iPadOS, and iOS devices.


What Is Ken Burns Effect & 7 Best Ken Burns Effect Software? ›

iMovie. iMovie has all the features of an excellent video editor such as Ken Burns effect, green screen effect, crop, and others. You can add the Ken Burns effect to video clips or photos to zoom in or zoom out these clips or photos.

What does the Ken Burns effect do? ›

The Ken Burns effect is the addition of an animated transition to a digital photograph in order to create the illusion of movement. Adding zoom, pan and fade transitions to still photographs is a technique commonly used by many filmmakers to maintain viewer interest.

What does Ken Burns do on iMovie? ›

You can add the Ken Burns effect to a video clip or photo to make the camera appear to zoom in to or out of the clip or photo. In the iMovie app on your Mac, select a clip or photo in the timeline. To show the cropping controls, click the Cropping button. Click the Ken Burns button.

How do you use Ken Burns? ›

Using The Ken Burns Effect In iMovie - YouTube

How do you use Ken Burns in Filmora? ›

Pan Zoom tutorial: how to easily make Ken Burns Effect with Filmora

What does Ken Burns effect look like? ›

The Ken Burns effect is a combination of panning and zooming a photo to give it a handheld camera feel. The smooth motion of this effect brings photos to life. This effect is commonly used in films that rely heavily on images; however, its simplicity allows it to be used broadly across the film industry.

Why is it called Ken Burns effect? ›

What Is the Ken Burns Effect? The Ken Burns effect is a film and video editing technique that creates motion from static images. Named for American documentarian Ken Burns, it involves panning and slow zooming over still images such as photographs and archival documents.

How do I get iMovie? ›

iMovie for Beginners - Detailed Tutorial - YouTube

How do you stop pictures from moving in iMovie? ›

How To Stop iMovie Zooming In Pictures - iPad iPhone (2021)

How do you get iMovie on Windows? ›

Apple developers haven't released any Windows version of iMovie. It is only for iOS and macOS. If you want to use its replacement on Windows 10, try MiniTool Movie Maker. MiniTool Movie Maker is a great video editor for Windows 10, and it's very simple to use.

What is Ken Burns effect in video editing? ›

According to Wikipedia, the Ken Burns effect is a type of panning and zooming effect used in film and video production from still imagery. Simply put, the Ken Burns effect is an effect that gives motion to still images and brings these images to life. This kind of effect is widely used in documentary films.

What software Ken Burns use? ›

iMovie. Ken burns effect is a video editing feature originally from Final Cut Pro and iMovie. iMovie is a beginner-friendly video editing program that works on Mac and iPhone.

How do you add Ken Burns effect to video? ›

How to use the zoom effect in WeVideo - YouTube

What is pan and Zoom effect? ›

If you define two or more areas, pan-and-zoom animates your presentation of the image by zooming in and out while traversing it with simulated camera movements as it moves smoothly from one area to another. You can also rotate while panning and zooming.

What does pan and Zoom mean? ›

Panning refers to horizontal movement of the lens where tilting describes vertical movement. The process of zooming refers to the adjustment of the focal length of the lens to make a subject appear close-up or far away depending on the setting.

How do I add Zoom effect to Filmora? ›

Filmora X: How to Zoom in Video? - YouTube


1. How to Do Ken Burns Effect
(TunesKit AceMovi Video Editor)
2. Secrets about Ken Burns Effect - Final Cut Pro 10.6
(Video Tutor)
3. 3D Ken Burns Effect with VSDC video editor
(Ralph Kwappenberg Photography, Video & Music)
4. Photo Animation Parallax Effect in Final Cut Pro [KEN BURNS EFFECT USING BUILT-IN EFFECTS]
(Ben Halsall: Final Cut Pro & Adobe Tutorials)
5. How to create a Ken Burns effect in Oxygen Builder
(Dawid Tuminski)
6. How to bring photos to life with Ken Burns Effect in iMovie
(Ethan Lin)

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